We traveled to the border of India with Nepal, where began the legend of a creature able to attract people from around the world: the indian rhinoceros
We traveled to the border of India with Nepal, where began the legend of a creature able to attract people from around the world:
The Unicorn of India.
An incredible animal with a horn on its forehead, which can cure the ills of poor people who share ground with him.
We follow the traces of this myth built 20 centuries ago crossing a jungle inhabited by wild creatures among which stands out one, the unicorn and is now known as the Indian rhinoceros, a unique species with enormous power on his forehead.
All these biological marvels were already here two thousand years ago, when the first travellers spoke of this land as a magical place, inhabited by fantastic creatures, above all one in particular, the unicorn. Its horn, which they called an “alicornis”, was a sure antidote to any poison, which it immediately detected and neutralised.
The myth lives here, and it is the Indian rhinoceros. Its means of defence was, in fact, imported into Europe until the end of the eighteenth century, as “unicorn horns”, to be used as remedies for a wide range of illnesses, and this belief still continues in traditional Asian medicine. Its leathery skin was also used for defence by men, in the form of shields for the soldiers. This armour plating protects them from attacks by tigers.
The fact that man coveted certain parts of its body brought the Indian rhinoceros to the verge of extinction, and by 1960 barely a hundred remained.
At this time of year, the rhinoceroses and a number of species of deer, such as the sambars and the chitals, spend many hours here. Just a few hundred years ago, the Indian rhinoceros grazed on all the flood plains of the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, but now it has been reduced to just two national parks: Chitwan in Nepal and Kaziranga in India.
70% of the world population of Indian rhinoceroses live in the Kaziranga National Park, ; for them, and for the Asian elephants, water provides a refuge from the heat, and a place in which their enormous body weight is a little easier to bear.
Another of the treasures of these jungles is the only animal capable of taking advantage of the meat of herbivores as large as the great buffalos. The presence of the tiger is the cause of one of the greatest problems – the coexistence of the National Parks and the people who live close by them.